We wanted to show some of the work that goes into a film like this, so here’s some very basic character development to start with, trying to keep the shapes as simple as possible. Click on the images to see them in full.

Work on the expressions of the main character, trying to use things like the moustache to help sell the emotional state.

The boards for the short, after we’d been told to come up with a completely new subject in 2 days or so – hence they’re a little on the rough side!

We wanted an almost puppet-like feel to the characters, so Naomi knocked up the designs in plasticine to give me a really good base to create the characters in 3d.

An early version of Martin.

An expressions board to see how the expressions are formed by the physical movement of the plasticine

Heads for the other family members, showing sublte differences like a slightly saggy, crinkled head for the older family and smoother rounder heads for the son and daughter.

You’ll notice a triangle shapes theme running throughout – even as far as the dog!

Lastly some background designs, we were undecided about whether to build 3d backgrounds or draw them, but the timeframe pushed us into going with the drawn ones, with just some stand in geometry for shadows and ambient occlusion.

This was pretty much all Naomi’s side of the project, she worked at Aardman for a while so can do a mean sculpt , and her character designs weren’t really constrained by thinking ahead about how to build them in 3d, which sometimes happens when I try to come up with characters. This had a positive effect on the designs, but gave me quite a few headaches trying to build and rig them. I’ll try to post up a few bits and pieces about that shortly.